Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
When a person is saved, his spirit is renewed & he is made as a new creature.His mind however has strains of the old nature & requires healing.Most often this does not take place immediately.His mind therefore needs renewal from the strongholds of the old ways of thinking & reasoning.
Since we have been given a free will,the mind needs to discern between the old man & the new man,the born again spirit & the dictates of the world,the flesh & the devil ,& then make the right choice.In order to do this a transformation & renewal from the old ways of thinking is much needed for the born again believer. This cannot take place unless the strongholds that satan had built in the mind is broken.Only then the mind can become a stronghold for God to reign,by building Godly strongholds.
What is a stronghold?
A stronghold is anything in our lives that tries to exalt itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor 10:5 )
Anything that exalts itself in our lives, posing to be bigger or more powerful than our God becomes a stronghold.
A stronghold is a yoke on our necks that controls & steers us away from God. It aims at strangling the believer, destroys our faith, making our lives unfulfilled, unfruitful & ineffective.
The dictionary defines a stronghold as a well-fortified place; fortress. Another word for it is garrison, a protected place for the army to stay during days of peril
Strongholds are a hiding place of the devil. They are well hidden in it & try to stay out of reach of deliverance through deception.
The Different types of strongholds.
Strongholds can be classified into 3 categories, namely spiritual, mental & physical. They may not always be of the devil but when entertained for long, can become a perfect hideout for the devil.
Examples of Spiritual strongholds are Generational curses, sinful nature (eg spirit of lieing,spirit of jealousy, spirit of fornication or lust, spirit of bitterness, spirit of unforgiveness,spirit of pride, spirit of idolatory,spirit of fear, spirit of pride, spirit of infirmity, religious (legalistic ) spirits…)
Examples of Physical strongholds range from chronic sickness, uncontrollable, ungodly,addictive cravings of the flesh. Although they may or may not have a spiritual origin from sin or a curse, one cannot deny that it is a stronghold that keeps us from being fruitful & effective for the glory of God.
Mental strongholds are built in the mind by various means with primarily the devil behind it.
The origin of Mental Strongholds ( The origin can appear to be very insignificant at times as Little Foxes)
1.An evil spirit tries to possess a person,disturbs the mind & then leaves the person with psychiatric problems.
2.Satan sows Tares when a person is unaware.Eg-Dreams,Alcohol or drug influence,when the mind is very tired & stressed
Matthew 13:25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.
3.Satan throws in a Suggestion-
Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. (I Chronicles 21:1).
4.Through the gateway of our 5 senses- vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
Vision-Evil sites,books,lust of the eyes
Smell & Taste-Wine
Touch-Lust of the flesh
5.Vain Imaginations – Romans 1:21-21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
6.Reasoning beyond God’s realm:Mark 2: 8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?
7.Negative Thinking: Job 1: 4…for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.
Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
Other ways are through faulty thinking, wrong mindsets, wrong motives & attitudes
Examples of mental Strongholds: These are spirit that reign directly in the mind & operate from there.
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;- There is a type of spirit in the mind
.” Strong’s Concordance says that the Greek word “PNEUMA,” which was translated “spirit” in this verse, can mean “mental disposition.” Meaning attitude)
1.Spirit of Confusion: Tower of Babel-Gen 11
1 Corinthians 14:33
for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
2.Spirit of heaviness/Fainting: Depression
Isaiah 61:3:To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
3. Spirit of perversion- Twisting what God has said & set.
(Is 19:14 KJV The Lord has mingled a perverse spirit in her midst;
And they have caused Egypt to err in all her work,As a drunken man staggers in his vomit.) –Ref Math 17:17 –4.Spirit of pride (Prov 16:8)
4.Spirit of argument-Mark 8:11
The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him.
5.Spirit of misunderstanding –People misunderstand each other as well as the Word.
Isaiah 29:24“Those who err in mind will know the truth,And those who criticize will accept instruction.
Ref Is 11:2
6.Spirit of foolishness- Proverbs 19:3
The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.7.Cunning Spirit- Proverbs 7:10 And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart.
1 Samuel 18:1
Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself.
8.Addictions-Spirit of Slavery-
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
9.Mental Blocks(Blocking Spirits)/Forgetfullness-These are spirits that bind the mind.
James 1: 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
Proverbs 2:17 (16 in tamil)
That leaves the companion of her youth And forgets the covenant of her God; –
Breaking these mental strongholds:
(You can’t keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can sure keep them from building a nest in your hair!)
Ripping the roof of your temple for any miracle to take place
Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.
1.Identify your strongholds through the Holy Spirit that searches all things (1 Cor2:10)
Strongholds are invisible & live/thrive in the dark secret places
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;-
Trying times(trials) would reveal your inner thoughts.
• Daniel 2:22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.”
2.Find the root of that stronghold:
Deuteronomy 29:18 ..so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations ; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.
Strongholds are ‘trees with roots’ growing within us. They keep us immobile in moving forward in the things of God. They have the ability to branch out, giving rise to more sins & strongholds. Although one can be a believer in Christ, strongholds eventually break one’s relationship with Him.
Christ became a curse for us,hanging on a tree.-
Gal 3: 13. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “- (14) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
3.Dig deep, delve into the scriptures: Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart
4.Destroying the Yoke with the anointing:
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
5. when we are restless in spirit we are able to destroy the yoke!
Gen 27: 40.”By your sword you shall live, And your brother you shall serve ; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck.”
Restless-Not passive but being active to do something about it
Is 62: 6.. they. never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;
(7)And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
6.Faith destroys strongholds:
Heb 2: 14.Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15).and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
One of the greatest strongholds is unbelief. When a ‘believer’ in Christ starts to believe the wrong thing, it develops into a stronghold
7.Prayer & Praise destroys foundational mental strongholds:
Acts 16: 25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
Building Godly strongholds:
Is 26:1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city;
He sets up walls and ramparts for security.
2 “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter,
The one that remains faithful.
3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You.
4 “Trust in the Lord forever,
For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.
5 “For He has brought low those who dwell on high, the unassailable city;
He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He casts it to the dust.
6 “The foot will trample it,
The feet of the afflicted, the steps of the helpless.”
7 The way of the righteous is smooth;
O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.
V1-Talks about a Godly stronghold established & built by righteousness (Isaiah 54:14
“In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you.)
V2-Mentions our need for faithfulness ,ie steady mindedness
V2-4Destruction of fortresses/strongholds so that it will never be rebuilt
V4-6 Our trust in God not only builds a Godly stronghold but causes us to trample down ungodly strongholds.
V7-Righteousness makes our ways smooth (removes confusion in our minds & keeps our minds stayed on God)
Ref Jer 17:10 ,Ps 139:23